June 2, 2008

Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications

Maddie's Fund® has awarded the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine a $1.7 million grant to support the first three years of a comprehensive six-year shelter medicine program. The Program will begin on July 1.

Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program will focus on four central strategies:

  • Shelter evaluation and extension services, including shelter assessments and disease diagnostic, control and prevention services.
  • Shelter medicine training for shelter medicine residents, shelter veterinary technicians, shelter veterinarians and animal cruelty investigators.
  • Veterinary student training through core courses, shelter medicine electives and externships.
  • Development of new knowledge through "in shelter "research projects, shelter medicine symposia, continuing education seminars and the development of a shelter medicine website.

Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, will direct the program. She will be assisted by Cynda Crawford, DVM, PhD, and Natalie Isaza, DVM. "This is truly a dream team of outstanding individuals," remarked Maddie's Veterinary Program Director, Laurie Peek, DVM. "Each has incredible academic, research and teaching credentials, and a history of involvement in animal welfare programs and issues. We are extremely lucky to have their leadership."

In 2006, Maddie's Fund awarded Dr. Levy a $257,000 grant for Maddie's Outdoor Cat Program, a two year research project to study the effect of an intensive TNR program on shelter cat admissions at Alachua County Animal Services.

Maddie's Fund has also worked closely with Drs. Levy, Crawford and Isaza on Maddie's Pet Rescue Project in Alachua County.

"We are thrilled to expand our relationship with this incredibly talented team of veterinarians," said Maddie's Fund President, Rich Avanzino. "I'm certain their work in shelter medicine will take this emerging field to a whole new level."

About Maddie's Fund

Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $275.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie's Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.